Global Survival, Not Suicide, Pact urged by President of Maldives

With world leaders backing away from reaching a legally binding treating on climate change in Copenhagen next month, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives delivered a powerful message at the Climate Vulnerable Forum last week.

Here is an excerpt from his moving call to action:

“We gather in this hall today, as some of the most climate-vulnerable nations on Earth.

We are vulnerable because climate change threatens to hit us first; and hit us hardest.

And we are vulnerable because we have modest means with which to protect ourselves from the coming disaster.

We are a diverse group of countries.

But we share one common enemy.

For us, climate change is no distant or abstract threat; but a clear and present danger to our survival.

Climate change is melting the glaciers in Nepal.

It is causing flooding in Bangladesh.

It threatens to submerge the Maldives and Kiribati.

And in recent weeks, it has furthered drought in Tanzania, and typhoons in the Philippines.

We are the frontline states in the climate change battle.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Developing nations did not cause the climate crisis.

We are not responsible for the hundreds of years of carbon emissions, which are cooking the planet.

But the dangers climate change poses to our countries, means that this crisis can no longer be considered somebody else’s problem.

Carbon knows no boundaries.

Whether we like it or not, we are all in this fight together.”

President Nasheed goes on to say about Copenhagen:

“At the moment every country arrives at the negotiations seeking to keep their own emissions as high as possible.  They never make commitments, unless someone else does first.”

“This is the logic of the madhouse, a recipe for collective suicide.”

“We don’t want a global suicide pact.  And we will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere.  So today, I invite some of the most vulnerable nations in the world, to join a global survival pact instead.”

To read the complete speech and sign a pact to stand with President Nasheed for the survival of all nations and peoples, go to the 350.org website. For more information about which nations are most vulnerable to climate change, and why, go the UK Government’s webpage “Act On Copenhagen”.


A Prayer for the Earth

21 days left before world leaders meet in Copenhagen for UN Climate Talks.

As today is Sunday, I thought I would share an excerpt from A Prayer for the Earth, written by Tim Costello of World Vision Australia and Brian McClaren, a speaker, writer, and contributor to Sojourners “God’s politics” blog.

A Prayer for the Earth

Most gracious God, creator of all good things, we thank you for planet Earth and all creatures that share it.

Have mercy on us, Lord. Through ignorance and carelessness we have poisoned clean air and pure water. For monetary gain we have reduced verdant forests to barren wastes. In our craving for more we have plundered your beloved creation and driven many of our fellow creatures to extinction. Only recently have we begun to realize the dangerous future into which our current patterns of consumption and waste are driving us, especially in relation to Earth’s climate. Only recently have we begun to see our need to find a wiser and better way of life in the future, before it is too late and our choices are limited by the consequences of inaction.

We who join in prayer today believe the time has come, Lord. Please guide us now, our God, at this critical moment in history, to better fulfill our role as stewards of this fragile planet. Guide the leaders of nations who will gather in Copenhagen on Dec. 7. Give them courage to set noble goals that reach beyond short-range political expediency, short-term economic profit, and short-sighted self-interest. Impress upon their conscience our sacred duty to bequeath to our children and grandchildren a healthy and thriving environment rather than a world in climate crisis.

Read moreA Prayer for the Earth

The Yes Men’s Latest Hoax Exposes U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Here in Canada it’s Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the Armistice signing, which ended WWI, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month;  so, to all of those people who have served our country, past and present, thank you for your dedication and sacrifice.

As today is a federal statutory holiday, you might have time to check out the video of latest political performance prank pulled off by the Yes Men.   Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are best known for posing as corporate executives to demonstrate how corporate greed is harming people and the environment. Or as their website puts it, Mike and Andy impersonate  “big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. Targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else.”

This video shows them impersonating U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials holding a press conference reversing their position on climate change, and committing to stop lobbying against the Kerry-Boxer Climate Bill. It gets more interesting when an actual Chamber spokesman shows up and moves to break up the press conference.  Check out the video on the Huffington Post or go right to the Yes Men website for more info on their pranks.  Their movie, “The Yes Men Fix The World” was released in October in the U.S.  I can’t find any information about any Canadian showings, so we might have to wait until the DVD comes out in spring.

It’s getting hotter in here…

Pre-Copenhagen negotiations have been going in in Barcelona this week, and things aren’t going well.   Earlier this week, a group of African nations walked out of the negotiations to protest the unwillingness of richer nations to make real cuts to their emissions to avoid climate change.  The African countries were making the point that they will disproportionately pay the price for unchecked climate change, and that developed countries have a legal and moral responsibility to take decisive measures to stop the impending climate disaster.  Eventually, a compromise was reached that allowed negotiations to continue but by the end of the week Yvo de Boer, UN’s top climate official, announced that too little progress has been made to for a treaty to be signed at the summit in Copenhagen next month, and it may take another year to reach a binding agreement.   CBC news reports that “Countries most vulnerable to climate change said Friday they were incensed that rich nations were rethinking the timetable for concluding a global treaty that would hold them to legally binding targets for cutting emissions.”

For a detailed analysis of the Barcelona talks, check out Bloomberg.com’s update and the Huffington Post’s blog from Barcelona.

The only comfort I can find at this point is that negotiations will continue, rather than ending with an inadequate agreement in December.  But scientists are warning that the longer we remain in the danger zone—above 350—the more likely that we will see disastrous and irreversible climate impacts.

In the meantime, I’m going to take some comfort in the smell of pumpkin muffins baking in my oven.  The recipe that I used is from recipeZaar.com, but I made a few changes (wholewheat flour and bran rather than white, and half orange juice/half buttermilk, and a lot more spice).  I’ll work on posting a page with my changes and a picture of the muffins.

Hope you have some comfort food in your day, too!